For more information about week 20 in a twin or multiple pregnancy, tap here.
With your due date just twenty weeks away, congratulations, you’re halfway there!
Baby is now about 10 inches tall (25.5 cm), the size of an endive, and weighs about 10½-12 ounces!
Inside your uterus, your baby’s skin is still in the process of being covered in a creamy white substance called vernix caseosa that will cover and protect their skin straight through until birth. Scientists speculate that this coating might play a part in helping Baby adjust to living ‘on land’ instead of just the watery environment inside your uterus. Speaking of, your little one now regularly gulps down multiple ounces of amniotic fluid each day and is starting to produce meconium, the sticky black substance that will make up their first poop.
Your healthcare provider may be able to see the presence of male genitals at your second trimester ultrasound (though some babies may wriggle or position themselves in a way that can make it hard for the ultrasound technician to be sure) and, if you wish, can tell you Baby’s biological sex. And if your growing baby is female, they now have seven million primitive eggs in their ovaries, and if they’re male, their testicles are descending from their abdomen into their scrotum.
Baby is also sprouting teeth buds underneath their gums, as well as lips, eyelashes, and eyebrows. The face you’re going to know and love is on its way! Just about 20 more weeks until you get to see that lovely little face in person.
What’s new with you?
As Baby keeps growing bigger, your body will continue to need more iron to support your increased blood-flow during pregnancy, so you should be compensating. Red meat, soy products, and raisins are great sources of iron, as are dark, leafy greens.
You might start to notice a hardening of your nails and a thickening of your hair at this time. Some of that hair might even start growing out of places that are new for you, like your chin if you haven’t had hair there prior. These sorts of changes are very common. Many folks find that their hair situation will go back to normal shortly after delivery, although some folks do report permanent changes in hair texture after pregnancy.
As Baby continues to grow, you might also start to have more trouble sleeping or finding a comfortable position to sleep in. At this point in the pregnancy, lying on your left side helps promote healthy circulation. Your body is working extremely hard growing Baby’s little body — and carrying it around with your every day — which makes getting your rest extra important. So don’t be afraid to fidget or toss and turn until you find a sleep position that’s comfortable for you. Using extra pillows may also help.
Your uterus is also expanding to keep up with your growing baby, which may press against your lungs, causing a shortness of breath. Please note that while some shortness of breath is normal — and you may want to work through this discomfort and remain active — any acute shortness of breath should be evaluated by a healthcare provider right away. And if your libido is still running high, staying active might be plenty of fun for you right now.
One more thing — feeling in need of some support? You may want to consider hiring a doula, a birth expert who can help you as you move through pregnancy, labor, and the first few weeks of your baby’s life. A good doula can answer questions you have about the labor and delivery process, help make for a more comfortable birth experience, and provide you with a great deal of emotional support throughout this journey too.
Reviewed by the Ovia Health Clinical Team
- F Hytten. “Blood volume changes in normal pregnancy.” Clinics in Haematology. 14(3):601-12. Web. Oct-85.
- “Amniotic fluid.” U.S National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. February 26, 2021. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002220.htm.
- Mayo Clinic Staff. “Sex during pregnancy: What’s OK, what’s not.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic. July 31, 2020. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/sex-during-pregnancy/art-20045318#:~:text=Your%20developing%20baby%20is%20protected,preterm%20labor%20or%20placenta%20problems.
- “Shortness of breath.” March of Dimes. March of Dimes. August 2009. https://www.marchofdimes.org/complications/shortness-of-breath.aspx.
- “Pregnancy: Nutrition.” Cleveland Clinic. Cleveland Clinic. January 1, 2018. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/12593-pregnancy-nutrition.
- Mark A Curran, M.D. “Fetal Development.” Perinatology.com. Perinatology.com. March 31, 2019. https://www.perinatology.com/Reference/Fetal%20development.htm#1.